Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of Feb. 16, 2017

How to submit your Letter to the Editor

To ensure timely commentary, please post your letters to the editor in story comments here. Be sure to include your name and city of residence. There are no length or frequency restrictions, but letters are subject to profanity filters and libel law.

Letters posted by Thursday noon will be considered for publication in Sunday’s newspaper. Print letters may be edited, particularly if they exceed 1,400 characters. All submissions become the property of The Bellingham Herald.

Unsatisfied constituent

Senator Ericksen:

I have been reading your posts at facebook.com/SenEricksen but have been blocked from replying on this social media site and my previous replies were deleted. From reading posts of others, it appears that many other constituents have also been blocked from posting and their posts were also deleted. As your logo for this site depicts your elected office and it is called it @Sen Ericksen, it seems totally inappropriate to block constituents from replying to your posts and asking you questions and deleting replies that are critical of your positions.

Can you please explain to your constituents why you are censoring speech on this social media site and how this practice is in accord with the WA State constitution and your oath of office?

Paul Englesberg,

Ferndale

Not listening

I am writing in reference to the recent article “Chelsea Clinton Echoes Social Outrage Comparing DeVos to Ruby Bridges.”

State Senator Doug Erickson had the audacity to post the article to his senate Facebook page with the following statement: “In 1960 some people were outraged that a black girl entered a white school. In 2017 some people are outraged that a conservative woman would enter a public school. Some people are just full of rage.”

Lest you have forgotten your history, Senator Erickson, let me remind you Ruby Bridges was a 6-year-old African-American child who had to be escorted by four federal marshals into her new all-white school in 1960 when schools were desegregated. These marshals feared for her life.

To compare a billionaire adult white woman with a 6-year-old child who faced death threats is a true low for you, Senator Erickson. DeVos garnered public concern across the nation and across constituent bases because she lacks credible experience with public K-12 schools and higher education. She barely squeaked into the appointment because American parents are so concerned about her ability to handle the role. Rightly so, I would argue.

The resulting protest that blocked DeVos from entering a public school in no way resembles the protests that occurred when Ruby Bridges entered an all-white school. A billionaire white woman in 2017 doesn’t face the same institutional prejudices that a black child faced in 1960. To compare the two is distasteful. Frankly, it makes you look foolish, Senator Erickson.

Equally troubling is this: when people commented their concerns on your Facebook page, many comments were deleted, and the commenters were blocked. By mid-afternoon, the post was removed altogether, along with close to 300 comments. Your office staff told me your Facebook page is personal, and you can post whatever you want. I’m confused. This Facebook page contains a photo of President Trump’s visit to Ferndale and doesn’t resemble your other Facebook page. Others in my 42nd District have told me it’s your public Facebook page.

Your job is to listen to all constituent views, not just the ones you agree with, Senator Erickson. If this Facebook page is not your public senate Facebook page, then I suggest you create one to engage publicly. You’re a state senator who is paid to listen to and represent your constituents. Right now, you’re not doing a good job.

Joanna Nesbit,

Bellingham

Great turnout

The energy at Saturday's Democrat 42nd LD monthly meeting was tangible. I was impressed with the turnout, with the involvement of new voices and with the obvious interest in our district.

Among the new faces were two young Bellingham lawyers, a union spokesperson, a statistician, a native American who has stepped up to represent us at the state level and a new (to me) young chairperson. All of this involvement bodes well for our future as a viable organization here in Whatcom County. I found this refreshing and energizing.

Naturally, there was discussion about our district's Senator Doug Ericksen. There was a call to action that will be refined in committee and presented to the community.

This is a important and exciting time to add your voice to the others. Together we can accomplish our goals of including all voices from our district. While other groups may speak with one voice, we are Democrats and include all voices in our conversation. It may be noisy and messy, but it is so necessary for our democracy!

Naomi Murphy,

Ferndale

Great column

I am a digital subscriber and check your website several times a day for updates. I was very pleased this morning to find that you have Leonard Pitts' column, "Just who the hell do you think you are?" front and center on the first page that comes up. Pitts is undeniably one of the top, most clear-thinking columnists our country has today. Today's column is of particular importance, clear and directly focused on Trump's shabby performance. Kudos to you for drawing attention to Pitts' pithy words.

Gwen McEwen,

Bellingham

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